The Younger Son’s Repentance Part – 9

Luke 15:29-30 ——- So he answered and said to his father, ‘Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends.  But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots; you killed the fatted calf for him.’

The elder brother boasted of his own goodness and condemned his brother’s wickedness. He was so full of himself he could not see the repentance and restoration of his brother; he was blinded to everything except to his own feeling. The elder brother even refused to call him ‘brother’ but resorted to ‘this son of yours’.
Most of the time, we compare ourselves with others. We will always mess up when we start comparing ourselves to other sinners. It is easy to look at people whose sins are open and vulgar and think we are much better than them.

God looks at us through His own view. However if we compare ourselves according to God’s standard none of us would ever qualify for salvation.

We like to think of alcoholics and drug users as sinners with open and visible sins, but what about, jealousy, selfishness and greed?  If we do not realise the gravity of those sins, gradually we will find ourselves moving away from God, This is what happened to the elder brother. Instead of rejoicing about the younger brother’s change of life, so they could both live and work together as a family, he becomes angry. When there is jealousy there is division, where there is love there is unity.

Bitter people’s actions and words make other people’s life bitter but a person who is filled with love wants to go out and pour that love into the life of others. The elder son’s bitterness stopped him from entering into the house of his own father. It stopped him from having a relationship with his brother and it stopped him from rejoicing together with them.

The older brother’s problem is not his behavior, it’s his attitude. He worked hard, stayed out of trouble, did all the right things, but he failed to be a true child of his father. He never caught on to the party spirit of the home where he lived.

All that looked so good on the outside turns out to be only skin-deep. Beneath the surface there lay a resentful, bitter person.

Do we suffer from elder-brother syndrome? If so, we need to hear the gracious invitation of our Father — the invitation to come to the party!


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